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Drop Shot Rig- A guide to drop shot fishing

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First of all, clear your minds from myths that drop shot rig is only for deep water fishing it can also be fished not only in deep but shallow, freshwater lakes, ponds, and anywhere you wish. No doubt it’s the ultimate finesse technique for bass fishing but its popularity leads to using it to catch other fish too.

Drop shot rig the famous rigging technique is adopted by professional tournaments bass anglers and beginners to take a good start. The main idea of the drop shot rig is to suspend your bait off the bottom level to attract fish. The bait presentation is so natural that it looks like a live-moving bait.

Many myths surround that drop shot rig is something hard to learn and only for professionals. With 0.0% reality in this, it is one of the easiest fishing techniques to learn and apply. All you need is just one or two times practice and you are all set, ready to cast.  

What is drop shotting?

You may have heard the terms drop shot rig, drop shotting, and drop shot fishing, somehow all these are similar terms. Basically, it’s a finesse fishing technique that mainly involves soft plastic baits to imitate live worms. All you have to do is tie a line with a hook and attach a sinker to the tag end of the line.

Different strategies and techniques are used to effectively fish the drop shot.

Drop shot fishing rig

Drop Shot Rig Set up

For setting up the drop rig, first, you need to have the following components/gear for setting that up

  1. Fluorocarbon Fishing Line(recommended), you can also use monofilament fishing line with low visibility  
  2. Drop shot Hooks( as they have large hook circumference)
  3. Sinkers/ Weight with crimped swivel for easy Clipping
  4. Drop Shot bait – plastic worm, plastic minnow (the worm is a recommended option)
  5. Learn how to tie a Palomar Knot

How to rig a Drop Shot

  1. Hold the tag end of the fluorocarbon line and thread it through the hook eye.
  2. Leave almost 10”-12” of the line as your tag end
  3. Now thread the tag end through the opposite side of the hook eye to make a loop.
  4. Hold that loop and tie an overhand knot with the other end of the line

*Make sure not to pull the knot tight yet

  1. Hold the loop present at the one side of the hook eye and bring it over the hook

*Now before tightening it up make sure to wet your knot

  1. As we have a long line on the other side of the hook, thread the tag end through the top of the line tie
  2. Now tie your weight with that tag end, and make sure that the hook faces up!
  3. The last and final step is to nose hook the plastic bait.

Nose hooking the soft plastic worms allow them to move freely and imitate live worm.

How to set up a drop shot rig

Gear Guide for Drop Shot Rig

Now you are fully aware of how to set up that rig but there is still some more information to share about the hook sizes and sinkers’ weight. For a perfect drop-shot rig set, you should also pick the right drop-shot fishing rods, reels, and baits.

Let us briefly explain each and every component

Drop Shot Hooks

It is very easy to pick a hook for a drop shot rig, you don’t have to be confused between different sizes just stick around a 1-1/0 size hook. The special feature of them is their large circumference which allows the nose hook of the plastic baits to move freely and act like a live worm. 

Drop shot Weights

Pick the weights according to your fishing location. Most commonly, 1/8-1/4 drop shot weights are ideal. Fishing deeper or heavier water you can jump up to ½ ounce.

You mainly have three drop-shot weight shapes, the main purpose of tying weights to the tag end of the line leader is to keep your bait just above the bottom surface of the water, each of which performs well in certain water locations and conditions.

Cylinder Drop-shot Weights

The ideal location for these slim and skinning weights is when fishing in the grass. It is not recommended to use them in rocky areas as they can be stuck in crevices due to their skinny structure.

Round drop-shot weights

A drop shot rig is one of the versatile finesse fishing techniques so now if you are fishing in rocky water conditions, pick the round-shaped drop-shot weights. As they will not get stuck in rock crevices.

Teardrop drop shot weights

Now if you are fishing in a hybrid type of location where both rocks and grass are present then go with the teardrop weights. They are suitable for most water situations, even you can skip the other two shapes and go with this one for an all-rounder option. 

Drop shot Baits

Although you can use plastic minnows i.e. shad imitations but the perfect pick as a drop-shot bait is the plastic worms. They are good with nose hooking and attract an aggressive bass into your trap.  

The plastic minnows are picked if your target fish preys on smaller-sized. Shad imitators are the ideal pick in that case.

Drop shot Fishing Line

Whenever you are rigging a drop shot, keep in mind to always go with the lowest visible fishing lines as you don’t want your target fish to be aware of your trap. A 6-8 lb. fluorocarbon fishing line is the optimal choice for a drop shot fishing rig.

Drop Shot Fishing Rods

This finesse technique is mainly picked for targeting small to medium-sized fish. Following this, a seven feet fast action and medium power rod are recommended. Pick one of the best drop-shot fishing rods from the list.

Drop shot Fishing Reels

The lightweight spinning reel that is your regular pick for freshwater fishing is good to pair with your rod. Pick 2500-3000 spinning reel size.

Berkley Gulp Earthworm Fishing Soft Bait, best drop shot bait Berkley Gulp Earthworm Fishing Soft Bait
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Gamakatsu Split Shot/Drop Shot Hooks, best drop shot hooks Gamakatsu Split Shot/Drop Shot Hooks
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Seaguar, InvizX Freshwater Fluorocarbon Line,best line for drop shot rig Seaguar, InvizX Freshwater Fluorocarbon Line
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Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel, best reel for drop shot rig Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel
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Tungsten Tear Drop Weight, best drop shot weight Tungsten Tear Drop Weight
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Different Techniques for Drop Shot Fishing

The more you dig into fishing techniques the more you will explore. You can adopt different strategies and casting techniques with a single rigging setup same is the case with a drop shot rig. There are different styles that you can adopt for different situations.

Vertical Fishing

Vertical fishing is simply dropping your bait right from the top in a vertical position it is mostly adopted when you are aware of the exact fishing spots or you are aware of your target fish’s nature.

This fishing style allows you to drop your bait right in front of the fish and excites it to bite the bait. Normally, a lightweight fishing rod and reel setup are adopted for this type of fishing.

Dead Sticking

Dead sticking involves the motionless behavior of plastic baits in front of the target fish. In this fishing style, drop your fishing bait and let it sink to the bottom level. Let in remain motionless for about 15-20 seconds and reel in and drop again if you fail the first time. This again is adopted when you are aware of your target’s nature.

Heavy Cover Fishing

Now this involves shaking your bait on reaching the bottom especially when you are fishing in shallow and heavy covers. For catching an aggressive fish, drop your bait and let it sink to the bottom, once reached shake your bait well for a few seconds before reeling back your line.


It’s not always that you are aware of fish’s nature, their favorite hiding spots. I mostly recommended this drop shot fishing technique to beginners as this involves not shaking but fast retrieval. A popular technique among professional boat anglers involves first dropping the bait to sink to the bottom, once reached retrieve your bait fast enough to create a louder disturbance to get the fish’s attention.

Frequently Asked Questions


In comparison to other fishing rigs, there are many performance-wise positive points that raise the vote that every angler should know to rig a drop shot from beginners to tournament anglers it’s everyone’s favorite.

Summing up with positive facts about the drop shot rig

  1. It is easier to learn this rigging setup
  2. Perfect for clear water
  3. Perfect trick to catch suspended bass
  4. It is easier to cast than a Carolina Rig
  5. The bait sinks faster with a weight tied at the tag end

At last, sharing a little secret hint for a guaranteed catch when you are at the active fishing spots, here to excite fish to bite the bait, try shaking or twitching the bait.